The most used operating system on cellphones is Android. If you are coming to the site because of DeGoogle(ing), then Android what is a core of Google is a big problem. So to think, at least!
Huawei, for example, is already partly degoogled, but thanks to the history and the potential connection to the Chinese government is also not a first choice when it comes to privacy.
Then you have Lineage what is working on many cellphones, including some Samsung phones. However, you open the bootloader and that is a security issue. Plus, Lineage is not always on the latest google security updates, and vendor updates of the phone itself.
iOS is Apple and a closed garden, but for many that is maybe just enough. With some apps, tips and settings you can get an Apple device decent, but never perfect when it comes to privacy. Then again what is perfect, the moment you use a cellphone you give up on privacy, let alone that you carry a tracker with you.
This out of the way, I am a strong believer in every step towards privacy is one step done right. And convenience can be achieved with a combination of privacy in place.
Android is mostly open-source, what gives us the opportunity unlike on iOS devices to choose not just our ROM, but also to simple remover or delete applications (including system applications) via the terminal.
We have a great example for Samsung Phones on the site.
Choosing ROMs is simple by visiting the XDA-Developers forum, and a few years ago that was the best way to get privacy. But it comes with a security risk by opening the bootloader. Vendors like Samsung for example stepped up their game and release monthly security update sometimes even faster as google push it to their pixel devices. So, ask yourself privacy yes, but having less security is a main issue, are you willing to take that risk?
GrapheneOS is second to none when it comes to privacy and security. But I am also a strong believer in convenience and choice! So if you are a mighty s-pen lover, there is no reason why you need to overlook the new s22 Ultra. You will never get the same privacy setup as you could get with GrapheneOS, but it is not totally terrible.
On top of this, with RethinkDNS and the likes, you can lock down the phone and block domains and connections to Samsung and others.
A big step forward is replacing your Google PlayStore with F-Droid and use open-source apps. Every little step away from Google and the likes is a big step toward more privacy for you. So, once more, you don’t need to go all in on privacy on day one, but ease in over time Remove Google step by step and find apps which can make your life as good as or even better than when using the pre-installed apps.. Remove Google step by step and find apps what can make your life as good if not better as if you would use the preinstalled apps.
With Android 12, the Privacy Dashboard was introduced so you can lockdown the microphone and camera access. This is something which was taken from iOS but in our opinion, a better job has been done of it. However, please be aware that Google’s own apps can bypass these implementations without us ever finding out about it.
Unlike other privacy blogs, we try to guide you how to lock down and replace intrusive apps on your device. At the same time, we are trying to cover popular devices and operating systems and not just focus on recommending GrapheneOS.